This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
We're set for another exciting five-game KBO slate Thursday as the season nears the completion of its second full month. Thursday's ledger sees a fairly solid array of pitchers taking the hill, including multiple ex-MLB hurlers, but there are also certainly some vulnerable arms we'll look to exploit with some bats across the salary scale.
As customary, I'll highlight what I consider to be two of the safer pitching options at different price points, followed by some one-off hitters across the salary scale that could also prove profitable for cash games and/or tournaments. I'll then recommend two stacks that I trust the most to potentially string some above-average offensive numbers together and pay off for you in tournaments.
Jake Brigham ($9,500) has opened the season in fine fashion with a 2-0 mark, unblemished ERA and 1.11 WHIP across his first two starts. While the right-hander had a soft landing by facing a light-hitting Hanwha squad in his first start, he impressively shut down the high-powered Dinos lineup over seven innings. Brigham now draws a matchup against a Tigers squad that has just a 17-24 record on the season and is averaging a KBO-low 4.2 runs per game and third-fewest hits (8.8). Brigham does have some control issues (4.3 BB/9), but his 100.0 percent LOB rate across his first two starts has helped him avoid any damage against his ERA.
Je Seong Bae ($7,300) makes for an appealing cost-effective alternative at one pitcher spot, as he sports a solid 4-3 record, 3.19 ERA and .207 BAA across his first eight starts. He just saw a streak of three straight starts of more than 20 DK points snapped, but he's posted at least 15.1 DK points in five of his last six trips to the mound. The opposing Landers have a pedestrian team batting average of .258, and although they do have some bats with upside in their lineup, they're only middle of the pack with 5.2 runs scored per game and Bae has only allowed more than three earned runs in one outing.
Jose Pirela ($6,100) continues to run roughshod over KBO arms, having posted a .360/.403/.646 slash line 23 extra-base hits, 38 RBI and average of 11.4 DK points per game. Pirela has been particularly lethal against Dinos pitching, posting a .529 average, 1.461 OPS, two home runs and 13.8 DK points across four contests thus far, and he's most recently flashed his expansive ceiling by scoring 16 to 27 DK points in three of his last five games alone. Dinos pitcher Wes Parsons has been a bit up and down in his first KBO campaign and has an elevated 5.8 BB/9 across his first seven stats.
Jung Dae Bae ($5,200) owns a .318 average and .431 on-base percentage across 41 games, and he's compiled a .389 average and 11.5 DK points per game against Landers pitching across four contests. Bae has scored 12 and 16 DK points in his last two games, while opposing starter Su Min Jung has struggled to a 7.04 ERA and 2.02 WHIP based on a couple of particularly poor outings against the Eagles and these same Wiz. Bae also has displayed a knack for both timely hitting and stolen bases, posting a .310 average with runners in scoring position and swiping six bags in nine attempts.
Hyun Soo Kim ($4,800) always seems to carry a salary that's not quite reflective of his impressive ceiling. The veteran is once again putting together an impressive season, as he carries a .320 average, .919 OPS and average of 8.7 DK points per game into Thursday's opposite-handed matchup against Giants right-handed starter Enderson Franco. Kim has done most of his damage on the road as well, slashing .385/.484/.615 with five homers and 17 RBI over 93 plate appearances in that split, while Franco comes in with a 9.60 ERA, 2.00 WHIP and .286 BAA over four home starts.
Hoon Jung ($4,000) continues to carry an extremely reasonable salary for a player that's slashing .305/.413/.489 with 16 XBH and 18 RBI across 37 games. The veteran outfielder is hitting a solid .294 with runners in scoring position and has been a force at home, where he's posted a .350 average, 1.056 OPS and average of 10.2 DK points in 17 games.
Geon Chang Seo ($3,800) has tallies of 12, 15 and 21 DK points in three of his last nine games, offering a glimpse at the upside he can offer at a very reasonable salary. The first baseman has been a completely different hitter on the road, where he's posted a .362/.489/.449 slash line and average of 9.2 DK points in 19 contests.
Stacks to Consider
As mentioned in Pirela's entry, Parsons has demonstrated a propensity for control problems early in his first KBO season, and he displayed similar issues during his pair of MLB stint with the Rockies and Braves. The Lions have also averaged a solid 5.1 runs per game and sport a .267 team batting average.
Koo is averaging 10.1 DK points per game and is doing some good work on the road, posting a .311 average across 20 games. He's also averaged 11.3 DK points across four games versus Dinos pitching and has also stolen nine bases for good measure.
Pirela's positive attributes were already covered earlier, while Oh is hitting just .253 but boasts an .831 OPS thanks in part to his five home runs. Oh has also been much better on the road, averaging 9.8 DK points on the strength of a .290 average and 1.008 OPS across nine games, and he's battered Dinos pitching for a .385 average and 1.361 OPS across four games.
Jung's struggles this season were already covered in Bae's entry, and the Wiz comes in scoring 5.6 runs per game, 9.6 runs per game and a .278 team batting average.
Bae's positive attributes were already discussed earlier, while Kang is an outstanding option if you're paying up. The veteran is averaging 10.2 DK points on the strength of a .392/.462/.557 line with five home runs and 42 RBI. The latter figure is a byproduct of Kang hitting an outstanding .434 with runners in scoring position.
Almonte is averaging 6.4 DK points and is hitting a solid .279 at home, where he's averaged 7.1 DK points. His salary helps make this stack affordable, considering the elevated figures attached to both Bae and Kang.
Finally, Sim boasts an impressive .306/.360/.430 line and has driven in 20 runs with the help of a pair of home runs and a .324 average with runners in scoring position overall. He also offers some stolen-base upside with six swipes in eight attempts, sports a .333 average at home, and has pounded Landers pitchers for a .364 average and 9.3 DK points per contest in four games.